CoffeeLuvver

10+ Year Member
Jun 8, 2008
2
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I am currently a sophomore assisting in a research lab. I have had the opportunity to work on my own project and will soon be published on one paper. If I continue here, I will most certainly have more projects and more papers. I like the research, but I also have an opportunity to be a peer mentor for freshman next year. I feel like this is also an excellent opportunity. I love working with people and having the opportunity to have an impact on people's lives, but there is little chance that I can do both without screwing up my GPA. Should I continue in the lab? or take this mentoring position? Both will look good, but is one more valuble than the other? Should I follow my heart or my head?
 

MonkeyChow

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
May 21, 2008
104
0
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I think you should do what you want to do. Life is too short to do something just because you think it might look good to an admissions committee.
 

Greonis

10+ Year Member
Jul 5, 2008
364
0
Status
Medical Student
As was posted above, the one that you are more interested in is the better of the two. If you choose the one you enjoy more, you'll be more likely to excel in it, which will in turn strengthen your application by leaps and bounds.

Always follow your heart. If nothing else, you'll be happier!
 

magikdoc

10+ Year Member
May 17, 2008
104
1
Status
Pre-Medical
I am currently a sophomore assisting in a research lab. I have had the opportunity to work on my own project and will soon be published on one paper. If I continue here, I will most certainly have more projects and more papers. I like the research, but I also have an opportunity to be a peer mentor for freshman next year. I feel like this is also an excellent opportunity. I love working with people and having the opportunity to have an impact on people's lives, but there is little chance that I can do both without screwing up my GPA. Should I continue in the lab? or take this mentoring position? Both will look good, but is one more valuble than the other? Should I follow my heart or my head?
After going through the process and interviewing at a lot of schools, I definitely think that research gets you more "points" than a lot of other extracurricular activities. I was never asked about my teaching, athletics, volunteer activities other than a brief mention even though I always had a lot to say about them. Almost 75% of the time though, at least one of my interviewers would ask about my publications and even ask for me to go into detail about them.

I would suggest sticking with research, unless you are really really sick of it. Also, you might have an opportunity to mentor new freshman coming into the lab, so you won't miss out on teaching there. And really don't worry so much about the publications, they are just icing on the cake, worry more about MCAT and GPA -__-.